Thanks to the readers - OK, reader - who sent me an e-mail welcoming me back to the South Side. Good to be here.
Feel free to ask me anything. But let's try to keep some levity in this. Remember, it's not life and death. It's baseball.
Skills-wise, is there any real difference between the Frank Thomas of 2002 and the Thomas of 2003? On the same subject, what would be the clubhouse repercussions if, for instance, Crede was moved up to No. 3 and Thomas went back to, say, No. 6 in the batting order? --Norm Cohen, Kings Park, N.Y.
Skills-wise, it's way too early to tell. But Thomas is showing signs that his head is much improved over 2002, when he struck out a career-high 115 times, walked 88 times (down from 112 in 2000) and was swinging for the fences.
Thomas was hitting .222 through Saturday but walked 12 times in his first 11 games. That patience should help Thomas see better pitches -- and pad Magglio Ordonez's RBI total.
On the same subject, the clubhouse repercussions from such a move would depend on Frank's reaction, pure and simple.
Too much pizza? According to ESPN's MLB Roster Analysis, the White Sox and Cubs have the two heaviest teams in baseball with an average of 213 and 212 lbs., respectively. The reasons for this aside, is there any historical pattern showing a connection between highest team weight and winning percentage? --Joel S., Denver
No, but feel free to research that and let me know. We might be able to rip the Cubs for getting rid of Matt Stairs.
Is Joe Crede eligible for Rookie of the Year? And if not, when is a player considered ineligible for the honor? --Matt Schoon, Bensenville, Ill.
Crede is not eligible after accumulating 200 at-bats last season. The limit is 130. Players are also not considered rookies after the spend 45 days on a team's active roster, not including the period in September after rosters are expanded.
Pitchers become second-year players after throwing 50 innings.
I was reading the article about , and I was wondering, where did he expect to play? He wasn't going to move Lee or Ordonez at the corner outfield positions, and there was no way he was going to replace Thomas or Konerko in the 1B/DH slot. Liefer hit under .250 with the Sox, and thought he should have played more because he hit a few home runs in 2001 after Thomas was hurt and the season was over. --Dom Nicolini, Merrillville, Ind.
Sure, when you look at it like that, Liefer probably got what he deserved. But when you're a young player who's dying to prove himself, it's only normal to wonder why you're warming the bench.
Who would you start, Wright or Stewart? --Ken Fontecchio, Mason, Wis.
Let's tackle that one in a couple of weeks. Wright probably won't be ready until early May.
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